Members of the Chief Ralph Uwazurike-led Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB and Biafra Independent Movement, BIM, yesterday threatened to occupy the streets of Anambra indefinitely over the continued incarceration of their members in prison for the past four years.
MASSOB-BIM Leader for Anambra South, Chief Arinze Igbani and the Acting Regional Administrator for Awka South, Sunday Ozoilo, in a joint press briefing in Onitsha accused some judges in Anambra State of constituting a clog in the wheel of freedom for their detained members.
Citing the case of four of their members, Chukwuemeka Arua, ThankGod Mark, Chidi Nweke and Emmanuel Akachukwu, who have been languishing in prison custody since 2013, after they were arrested in connection with the MASSOB sit-at-home order, Igbani and Ozoilo noted that the four were granted bail at Ogidi High Court on June 14, 2017, but the presiding judge was unable to sign the bail documents before proceeding on annual vacation.
The MASSOB-BIM leaders who presented the court documents to authenticate their claims noted that the judge who had earlier chided the police for not filing any proof of evidence for armed robbery and conspiracy against the accused for the past four years, later turned around to insist on confirming the authenticity of land documents tendered by their sureties from the Ministry of Lands before allowing the detainees to breath the air of freedom.
They called on the National Judicial Council, Federal and State governments, including various human rights bodies both local and international to come to their aid before they are provoked into violence.
The Biafra agitation group also disclosed that 12 of their members are also struggling to free themselves from various spurious charges brought against them because of their struggle for Biafran independence in various courts in Onitsha, Atani, Otuocha and Nteje, noting that 18 years after their continuous agitations for Biafra, they can never be cowed into submission by various state agents. “Our members were arrested by Special Anti Robbery Squad and after severe torture and other dehumanizing treatment, they were charged to court and remanded in prison custody.
Those cases have lingered while most wives and children of our members have been living like widows and the fatherless.
The hopes of the four families to reunite again with their breadwinners were dashed last month because of the insistence of that judge who is an Igbo woman.
The implication is that they will still remain in custody till after vacation in September. Our patience is running out,” they lamented.